After Justice Dept. press probes, a new chilling effect for US national security reporters

"President Obama’s conciliatory gesture toward the press this week — a review of Justice Department investigations involving journalists — struck some national security reporters as closing the door after the sources have already bolted," writes Elizabeth Haughey in the New York Times. And this just as news breaks at CNN that US Attorney General Eric Holder was personally involved in the Justice Department's decision to seek a search warrant for Fox News reporter James Rosen's private e-mails. So, wait, why again is Holder now tasked with reviewing the DoJ's policies involving journalists?


  1. Somebody help me. I don’t know if I should feel good I didn’t vote for Romney or bad for voting for Obama.

    1.  It is a nice weekend, so feel good. Also, casually fix this dead raccoon up in the pertinence of one branch of the executive or another to do oversight.

    2. For me it was a tactical decision on voting Obama instead of voting for a third party candidate. The deciding issue for me was the potential of a war with Iran. In a perfect world we can vote for third party candidates and build up their parties. In the real world we often need to vote for the lesser of two evils in order to prevent imminent mass slaughter.

      1. That depends on what state you live in, and whether or not Obama’s policies towards Iran and the Middle-East in general are so dramatically different from Republicans’.  It’s important to remember that Bush couldn’t have invaded Iraq without the tireless aid of the Democrats.

        Also, Obama has his fair share of mass slaughter on his hands.

        1. I live in a swing state. But I think you need some perspective. Drone strikes are orders of magnitude less deadly than the cost of an invasion. The invasion of Iraq is estimated to have cost half to a full million lives. Iran is three times larger and better defended, so the deaths would probably be more than proportionally greater.

          Here is the calculation:
          * Drone strikes (same under Obama and Romney) – thousands of deaths
          * War with Iran (likely under Romney, unlikely under Obama) – millions of deaths, tens of millions displaced
          * Vote for third party: stronger potential for Romney to win and start a war with Iran resulting in millions of deaths vs. very, very, very small probability for third party to win and end drone strikes and not go to war with Iran

          Logic requires me to hold my nose and vote for Obama.

          1. While you’re exactly right about the differences in fatalities, you’d have to convince me that Republicans are more likely to actually invade Iran than Democrats.  Given that there’s zero popular support for such an action, the Republicans are likely to continue doing what the Democrats have done, which is to enforce ineffective, but deadly (to the civilian population) sanctions, and to assassinate their nuclear scientists.

            The only way Romney could have started an actual war with Iran is with the tacit, if not active, support of Democrats.  And again, I don’t think it was likely he would have done that, given the numbers of Americans who want us out of Afghanistan.

            I understand the “lesser of two evils” argument, and in regards to domestic policy, I tend to respect it.  When it comes to foreign policy, Democrats and Republicans are just too similar.

          2.  Your reasoning is VERY less of two evils. I’m not arguing that’s wrong, per se. But I do have to ask; Do you feel locked into that? That you will ONLY have two choices? Because that’s the part that makes no sense for me…

          3.  Do you feel locked into that?

            Obama certainly counted upon that, didn’t he? 

            Having won the election, he feels entitled to believe that each of his policies was endorsed. 


  2. ‘We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends’ – Barack Obama , October 2010

    1. Here’s the full quote in full context:

       Well, here’s what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna see how well we do in this election and I think a lot of it is gonna depend on whether we still have some support not only from Democrats, but also Republicans, but they’re gonna be paying attention to this election. And if Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, we’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us, if they don’t see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it’s gonna be harder and that’s why I think it’s so important that people focus on voting on November 2.

      Fixed that for you

      1. Yeah that makes it completely different and totally justifies creating an enemies list and spewing hate toward anyone that dares to disagree.

        1. Are you kidding?  The quote is him making a clearly speculative statement about what other people *might* think or do.  It does not endorse the thought at all.

          I’m not a fan of Obama at this point, but your quote was classically out of context.

          1. Saying “punish our enemies” is wrong IN ANY CONTEXT. PERIOD. Especially with this President’s history of incendiary rhetoric.

  3.    I was not pleased with Obama’s first term so I voted for Rocky Anderson, a little-known candidate that looked promising to me. I was told by many that I was throwing away my vote, that no one outside the two major candidates could win.

      I have this terrible habit. When something doesn’t work, when it doesn’t make sense, when it hurts, I stop doing it. For me it is easy to tear away the politics of the beltway and see the two parties voting to keep the status quo. I am wondering if We the People will ever be able to move in a direction away from this…

    1.  I was very close to voting for Rocky, but in the end I concluded that he didn’t have any plans to deal with the party-based corruption (campaign finance reform) in DC.

      Still, I think ANY 3rd party win would seriously muck things up enough in our federal government that the 2 major parties would have to shit their pants for awhile, and quickly figure out how to adapt to a new American voting paradigm.

    2. The short term strategy most people use is the “vote for the lesser
      evil.”  That just encourages each candidate to appear less evil
      (sometimes by making the other appear more evil).  Policy and performance are secondary to perception.  So politicians focus on perception.  And we end up voting for evil (greater or lesser).

      I’ve come to favor an alternate strategy.  It’s a long term strategy and might not work, but it appeals to me.  I think of it as “do a bad job and I vote your ass out regardless of who the other guy is.”  This is intended to reward politicians who do well and punish those who don’t.  No excuses such as “but he’d do worse.”  Tough shit, you’re outta here.  And if the guy who replaces you sucks, his ass is out too.  And the next and the next until we start getting people that get the job done.

      You don’t get to point at the other guy to try to convince me you should keep the job.  You have to stand or fall on your own.

      By that standard, I had to vote against Obama.  A vote on principle.

      And some of you may be thinking “But Romney ….”  Yup!  You might be right.  But I’m thinking long term.  Decades.  None of this short term 4 years crap.  Decades.

      1. Fortunately with Rocky I voted my conscience and not just principal. I honestly believe that We the People fooled ourselves into what kind of politician Obama was. The ‘Hope/Change’ thing wasn’t a slogan he created but one he embraced.

        1.  We the People fooled ourselves

          People who voted Obama in 2008 get a pass from me.

          Those who voted for him in 2012 absolutely do not.

      2. This is exactly how I feel.  It really will take decades and the courage to live through a few more Bush-like administrations (not that the present one is too terribly different).  

        But maybe if the Democrats who helped the Bush administration do much of its evil didn’t have the reflexive support of so many “liberals,” future Bush-like administrations won’t be able to do as much evil.

        It’s not about voting for Democrats or Republicans, conservatives or liberals.  It’s about refusing to vote for assholes.  The AAP (Anti-Asshole Party) needs your support!

  4. I can’t wait until a Republican occupies the White House again so all my bastard hypocrite loser democrat friends will start calling out the executive officer for his violations of civil liberties.  But hey, at least Obama isn’t Bush II right?

  5. I find it incredibly hard to understand what was wrong with electing a proven leader with many accomplishments versus what we have today and the last four plus years, a liar, a man with minimal scruples if any, a blamer who will not accept responsibility for anything except the killing of Bin Laden by Seal Team Six whose identities were leaked to the press, and a man embroiled in so many scandals it is hard to remember them all such as Fast & Furious, Benghazi, his autocratic attacks on Libya, bugging the AP reporters, targeting James Rosen, the IRS crimes, Extortion 17 fiasco, allowing Holder to not carry out the laws in the constitution, the persecution of those Black Panthers in Philly who intimidated voters…. and the list goes on and on. Yep, you guys were real smart in not voting for Romney. Just imagine how much worse shape we’d be in today if you had.

  6. S’funny how the press didnt see the chilling effects when they were helping repress the cries from us in the un-patriotic, freedom-hating LEFT! ™ during the period in which the laws were being created that allow the government to do exactly as it has done. The Press enabled the Patriot Act with barely a protest and are now up in arms because its their ox being gored? Perfect. Here’s an idea: stop with the articles crying about how The Press has been wronged in the hopes of garnering the tiny amount of sympathy any section of the public might have for The Press, and do your effing jobs beyond mimicking GOP talking points and shoring up your DC dinner party credentials. The Press is as much responsible for the laws decimating (I used it and I don’t care) our civil liberties as much as those who created and perfected those laws.

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